Feels independence is his asset
If you want to donate to Ed Fallon's campaign for governor, you had better limit it to $2,400. That's the most that Fallon says he will accept from any individual.
Fallon brought his campaign to Storm Lake Thursday in a stopover at Abner Bell's Coffee House. He didn't hesitate to take an indirect jab at fellow Democrats Tom Vilsack and Mike Blouin, who Wednesday resigned his post as Iowa's economic development czar to run for governor.
Both Vilsack and Blouin have taken heat from both parties for the state's $82.5-million assistance package to Wells Fargo, the first to get money from the Iowa Values fund established in 2003.
Raised north of Boston, Fallon should do well among the electorate from the Emerald Isle with his obvious pride in his heritage. He went to Ireland for a year where he observed that "food, farming, and agriculture was important," his segue into why he has a personal interest in running for governor.
State Representative for Iowa's 66th House District, Fallon lived in Ireland for a year, and he and his wife have lived in Iowa since 1984.
The state plays a great role in producing food for the world.
"We take for granted how important food is," Fallon said. "We do not realize how important our soils and our climate is. To have lived half my life here in paradise, it's been a real honor."
Until recently he served as director of 1,000 Friends of Iowa, a nonprofit organization working to protect farmland and revitalize cities, town squares, and family owned businesses.
In fact, Fallon's first job was selling food at a farmers market. He observes that both older urban and rural areas are declining.
'I started getting really active and trying to address those concerns in my neighborhood," Fallon said.
Fallon said when he first ran for Iowa's Legislature it was against a 10-year incumbent who outspent him two-to-one. Fallon still received 63 percent of the vote. He is now serving his seventh term after having received 89 percent of the vote in the last election.
Among Fallon's key issues when he first ran were the health care system and environment.
"Thirteen years later I'm still in the Legislature and I'm talking about the same issues," Fallon said. "I continue to fight in the Legislature for what I believe needs to happen. Most people are concerned about the same things."
While he favors economic development, Fallon opposes "corporate welfare". Neither is he obligated to big business.
"I do not take money from PACs or corporate lobbyists," Fallon said. "I never have and I never will."
To date, Fallon said he has raised $130,000 in his race for governor.
Despite the fact that it could cost political capital from his own party, Fallon said he stood firm in his beliefs about how state economic development should proceed.
"I am a free-thinker," Fallon said. "I am very independent. I think my record's pretty clear in demonstrating that."
Fallon said he did not believe that local governments should be forced to consolidate. He said that he would fight for local control over animal confinement issues and lead the way in campaign reform.